J. Zvirgzdiņš "Sleep Fairytale". Publishing House "Zvaigzne ABC" / 2014
Left home alone by accident, the protagonist of the ‘Sleep Fairytale’, the five- year-old Matīss, decides to hold an eating festival and play hide-and-seek and board games with his friends Muris the cat and Brunis the teddy-bear. When his friends can no longer keep their eyes open, Matīss is still wide awake. He starts counting sheep, which is supposed to make you sleepy. And then the real adventures commence.
Thanks to the good-natured easy-to-read style, this fairytale lends itself well to reading aloud to children. There is also educational value to the book – it helps acquire new skills (left home alone, Matīss learns to make pancakes) and knowledge (‘Sleep Fairytale’ helps the child take the first steps to learning the ABC: the first letters of the names of the sheep that have to
be counted at bedtime form the alphabet). The author’s lively manner of writing, word play and love for neologisms stimulate the development of the young reader’s own language.
The illustrations by artist Anita Paegle are very realistic and help the child become familiar with the cultural environment of the city. They can also encourage parents to suggest visiting and exploring the locations described and shown in the book together, as a family.